Europe Thematic Program on Human Rights and Democracy announced its 2023 Global Call for Proposals (see guidelines attached and the package at this link), covering the following thematic areas and sectors:
- Business and Human Rights,
- Combat forced labour,
- Non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity,
- Freedom of Religion or Belief.
It is important to note that eligibility for this call is exclusive to civil society organizations (CSOs). Unfortunately, international organizations do not qualify to apply. Nonetheless, the call does highlight the inclusion of the Europe and Central Asia region across various Lots.
The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 36 months nor exceed 60 months.
Types of action
Lot 1 themes:
– Actions by civil society and human rights defenders that can support the development of human rights due diligence processes and tools including the integration of human rights considerations into
business strategies, policies and operations. Actions must concern one or several of the following high-risk sectors: textiles, agriculture, forestry, food, fisheries, metals and mineral extraction, and financial.
Lot 1 locations:
Actions must take place at global, regional or multi-country level in different countries and demonstrate clearly the added value of the multi-country approach in relation to the sectors of intervention.
– Community-based initiatives for monitoring implementation of risk prevention and mitigation measures, traceability, auditing, benchmarking and product sourcing coming from businesses.
– Initiatives among civil society, and social partners, governments, and businesses to enhance on the ground impact of responsible business practices and the promotion and implementation of
international standards, including new EU legislation in this area.
– Strengthening of legal capacities and expertise of civil society organisations and social partners to lead collective redress processes and strategic litigation.
– Initiatives from civil society, and social partners and human rights defenders to facilitate access to an effective remedy for victims in third countries, including through non-state grievance mechanisms,
awareness raising, research, investigation and awareness raising campaigns about corporate malpractice, and consultation, advice, assistance, evidence-building and legal referral of civil society actors and social partners with affected communities and victims.
– Engagement with national and international state and non-state judicial bodies to support legal cases and cooperate towards mutual legal assistance linked to human rights and environmental due
diligence processes and removing legal hurdles for victims in accessing remedies. Support consultations and follow-up actions with potentially affected groups.
– Advocacy with EU institutions and global human rights actors to report back on operational difficulties and compliance with regards to mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence
– Collaboration with multi-stakeholder platforms such as sectoral initiatives to share best practices and promote collaborative approach to risk-based due diligence.
– Benchmark exercises that are able to report on progress about the implementation of relevant EU
legislations in the area including corporate practices to new standards.
Lot 2 locations: Actions must take place in all current GSP+ countries (with 31/12/2025 to reapply): Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan. It may also include prospective countries to the scheme (Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Tajikistan) and Everything But Arms countries with enhanced engagement with the EU (Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar).
Lot 2 themes:
– Awareness raising among civil society actors including trade unions about human rights and labour rights, environmental and good governance standards in the context of the GSP+ monitoring
– Capacity-building of local civil society organisations aimed at strengthening the skills and knowledge of civil society organizations in monitoring and reporting on the implementation of
international conventions under GSP+.
– Collection and analysis of disaggregated data on the implementation of international conventions under GSP+, with a focus on identifying areas where additional efforts are needed to ensure
compliance. Broader field research in this area (e.g., child labour surveys, surveys on trade unionisation rate or work accidents and occupational diseases, etc).
– Multi-stakeholder discussions and networking among civil society, social partners and relevant international organisations for information-sharing and coordination.
– Advocacy and outreach to promote greater transparency and accountability in the implementation of international conventions under GSP+, including through the dissemination of monitoring and
reporting findings to concerned civil society, governmental (including EU) and corporate actors.
Lot 3 locations: Actions must take place at multi-country level: it must fall under a same sector, value or supply chain in different countries and demonstrate clearly the added value of the multi-country approach. Actions must take place within one or more of the following regions: i) Sub-Saharan Africa; ii) EU Neighbourhood countries and/or EU enlargement countries; iii) Asia; iv) Latin America and Caribbean countries.
Lot 3 themes:
– Promoting the rights to freedom of association, collective bargaining and social dialogue to better negotiate wages and working time, gender-responsive social security schemes, receive the appropriate trainings and ensure decent working conditions.
– Promoting exchanges of good practices to foster effective state-private sector-employers-trade unions collaboration to tackle corporate malpractices related to forced labour.
– Supporting trade unions in the monitoring of global framework agreements that are binding forcompanies and which promote inclusive and encompassing collective bargaining, including on
issues of gender equality.
– Developing and reinforcing workers-driven social responsibility programmes that can empower workers and their organisations to tackle decent work deficits including cases of forced labour and
design and implement the appropriate mitigation responses.
– Encouraging transparency in the supply chain by promoting public corporate reporting about the information on working conditions gathered by worker-led initiatives.
– Guidance, training, and awareness raising at the workplace by trade unions to workers about their rights including violence and harassment, discrimination, the abuse of power relations, and the
gender, cultural and social norms that support such labour rights abuses.
– Creating awareness and better understanding about trafficking of human beings and forced labour situations by providing orientation and information to vulnerable workers such as migrant workers,
women workers, young workers, ethnic or religious minority workers and domestic workers.
– Raising public awareness about forced labour and advocate for better policies and practices to prevent it. This could include media campaigns, educational programs, and policy research.
– Protecting the rights of workers, including migrant workers, women workers, and domestic workers, from abusive and fraudulent practices during the recruitment process (including pre-selection,
selection, transportation, placement, and possibility to return).
– Supporting victims of forced labour, including legal assistance, medical and psychological support.
– Providing and assisting with finding alternative employment and enhance the development outcomes for vulnerable workers such as migrant workers, women workers and domestic workers including
their families, as well as for countries of origin and destination.
Lot 4 locations: Actions must take place at the global, regional or national level, with a focus on countries faced with serious human rights violations
Lot 5 locations: Actions must take place at the regional or national level in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on countries where consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults in private are criminalised
Lots 4 and Lot 5 themes:
– Promoting legislative and policy frameworks to address discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender equality, including intersectional discrimination.
– Strengthening legislative and policy frameworks for the protection of LGBTIQ human rights defenders and civil society organisations.
– Providing capacity building for monitoring and documentation of violations of international human rights law and national legislation (legal support to gather evidence, analyse legislation, outreach to
local and national policy-makers, etc.).
– creating or operating safe spaces where LGBTIQ individuals can access legal, social, and psychosocial support.
– Reaching out the population on broader issues of discrimination/tolerance, including empowering
LGBTIQ parents and other allies to as advocates.
– Increasing partnerships and use of media to promote inclusivity and a non-stereotypical vision of
LGBTIQ persons and involve role models for contributing to social transformation.
Lot 6 locations: Actions must take place at multi-country level and must take place within one of the following regions: i) Sub-Saharan Africa; ii) EU Neighbourhood countries and/or EU enlargement countries; iii) Asia.
Lot 6 themes:
– Raising awareness about the right to freedom of religion or belief and its implications.
– Promoting FoRB literacy and capacity building of CSOs, faith-based organisations, religious leaders and actors, and other relevant actors at global, regional, and country levels.
– Strengthening synergies between FoRB and gender equality.
– Engaging with youth on intercultural and interreligious understanding.
– Supporting community-based approaches to foster inclusive societies and combat intolerance and discrimination, including through inter-faith discussions and initiatives.
– Promoting partnerships with academia, CSOs, religious actors and culture and media actors to find innovative ways of mutual engagement on FoRB related issues.
– Addressing links between FoRB and conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
The following types of action are ineligible:
– actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops,
seminars, conferences and congresses.
– actions concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses.
– Actions including political or religious proselytism or propaganda.
– Actions which discriminate against individuals or groups of people on ground of their gender, age,
sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic origin, disabilities.
– Actions supporting political parties and/or supporting violence.
– Actions concerned only or mainly with procurement of equipment.
– Core funding of the applicants or co-applicants or affiliated entities (for activities that are normally
carried out by the applicant and/or applicants and affiliated entities) i.e. operating grants are not
– Works, including feasibility studies works supervision